Gotham Girls Roller Derby

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #3 Gotham squeezes past #6 Texas, 148-145

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #3 Gotham squeezes past #6 Texas, 148-145 Photo credit: Derby With Recess.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The BELIEVANCE of the #6-ranked Texas Rollergirls woke up early to take on the legends of the #3 Gotham Girls Roller Derby. The last time these two teams faced off was in June of 2016 at Thin Air Throwdown, where Gotham won by 117 points. They have not met in the post season since Champs 2014.

In a game with eight lead changes, Gotham’s tenacity at Texas’s persistence was more eye-opening at 10AM than a red-eye coffee; Gotham squeaked out the win 148-145.

D1M: 1st Place, #1 Gotham outdoes #2 Denver, 176-85

D1M: 1st Place, #1 Gotham outdoes #2 Denver, 176-85 Photo credit Marko Niemelä

MALMO, SWEDEN – When Gotham strides into a game, it usually seems like an inevitability who’s likely to come out on top – people tend to just cheer for the underdog and keep an interested eye on what points spreads say about each team’s relative rankings. But in this game, with two players on the roster who have experience beating Gotham, there was always going to be a little extra tension around the game conclusion. Certainly, no one was about to speak with absolute certainty what the outcome might be.

Going into this game, both teams were liable to have been relaxed since both of the final games for the day are between teams that have already confirmed their places at Champs in Philly this year. And it’s always an interesting unfolding, when teams have nothing but next year’s rankings on their mind when they enter a game in playoffs: some respond with joy by playing up, with no nerves to contend with, while others seem to have a more lax entry and a slightly sloppier play than their usual.

Either way, Gotham vs Denver was going to be some excellent roller derby, and so when Gotham finally won with a score of 176-85, the audience was satisfied that they’d had an opportunity to watch some stellar play.

D1M: #1 Gotham subdues #8 Detroit, 457-54

D1M: #1 Gotham subdues #8 Detroit, 457-54 Photo Credit Marko Niemelä

MALMÖ, SWEDEN – Given the infamous unbeaten track record of Gotham, Detroit couldn’t be said to have entered this game anticipating a win. Since the seedings had held true through the first half of the day, certainly all eyes were on the New York team to take the final win of the day.

What wound up happening was play held firmly in the hands of the Gotham Girls, as they finished up the game with over 400 points more than Detroit, after they played for points (since every game counts towards rankings for each season), ending up with 457-54.

2016 WFTDA D1 Champs: #3 Rose City repeats victory against #1 Gotham, 186-166

2016 WFTDA D1 Champs: #3 Rose City repeats victory against #1 Gotham, 186-166 Photo Credit: Danny Ngan.

PORTLAND, OR – For three years in a row the Rose City Rollers and Gotham Girls Roller Derby have met each other in the final game of WFTDA Championships. 2014 ended in heartbreak for the Wheels of Justice by losing to the Gotham giant by three points, but then they enacted revenge the next year when they took them down by 11 points. Gotham has remained at the top of the WFTDA rankings however, and Rose City came into this tournament at #3 with their only loss this season coming at the hands of this weekend’s 3rd place team, Victorian Roller Derby League.

Yesterday Gotham played a very evenly matched semifinal game against London but with a slight edge in the second half, New York took them out 189-163. Rose City finished out the tense day with a thrilling game against Victoria where the Wheels of Justice came from behind in the last jam to beat VRDL 155-152. Those games began the excitement that would carry through to the final day and Rose City didn’t disappoint their hometown fans with yet another comeback victory and second consecutive Championship win against Gotham, 186-166.

WFTDA 2016 D1Champs: #1 Gotham survives #5 London, 189-163

WFTDA 2016 D1Champs: #1 Gotham survives #5 London, 189-163 Photo credit Regularman

PORTLAND, OR – In the first semi-final game of the weekend, #1 Gotham battled #5 London in what was essentially a demonstration of will. London showed up with fierce defense and risky offensive footwork to keep the game much closer than their previous match up (June 25, 149-118). Gotham, the five-time World Champions, appeared to either be demonstrating uncharacteristic chinks in their armor, or that their competitors did their homework in how to handle the perennial favorites, as London (and earlier, Angel City) took the team right to the wire.

Ultimately, the game was decided with one break-out jam by VanEssa V-DivaSites late in the game, when she posted an 18-0 over Londons Master Blaster – this not only returned the lead to Gothams favor, but put enough distance between the teams to put the win just out of reach as the clock wound down.